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RCA NEWSLETTER Fall 2007 Powered By Docstoc
					                        RCA NEWSLETTER
A Newsletter of the Religious Communication Association                            Fall 2007 (October)

                                       From the President
                                           What’s Brewing?

When I ran for the position of Second Vice president a few years ago, I did so on the platform of working to
explore more ways for RCA members to present scholarship. Over the past three years I have explored
many ideas which have resulted in nominal success. To that extent, I believe that the RCA pre-conference is
the best avenue available to provide a small, intimate gathering for scholars to share their scholarship.

Securing leadership for the pre-conference has been challenging as well. We have been blessed and
fortunate this year that Ruth Anna Abigail from Azusa Pacific University stepped in to oversee this thankless
task. She has run into roadblock after roadblock this year trying to make this years pre-conference happen.
But she did it! Ruth Anna has scheduled a wonderful pre-conference complete with the traditional RCA
banquet and an outstanding speaker.

In order to make sure that the pre-conference becomes an annual event, I have introduced a constitutional
change that will include the pre-conference planner as a member of the executive committee. You will be
receiving a separate snail mail that will explain the amendment in detail along with several other changes to
the constitution that we will be voting on in November. Please read the material closely and carefully and
come to the RCA Business Meeting in Chicago prepared to vote.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve RCA over the past three years. It has been a blessing and a joy.

Kevin Jones, Chapman University

                 Plan now to attend the BUSINESS MEETING
           Thursday, November 15th, 3:30-4:45, Palmer House, Crystal Room

                      Deadline for Pre-Conference October 31!!!
                                 Religious Communication Association
                                          Wednesday, November 14, 2007

                                       12 – 5 p.m. Pre-Conference
                         6 – 8 p.m. Dinner, with guest speaker Juliana Stratton


                                                       Jaks Tap
                                                901 W. Jackson Avenue
                                                  Chicago, IL 60607
                                                    (312) 666-1700

Jaks Tap is located 1.88 miles from the Chicago Hilton Towers (according to Mapquest)
                        and is about a $5 cab ride from the hotel

                        $50 Registration fee includes coffee break and dinner
                      $25 Dinner only (this will be our traditional RCA banquet)

Call for Papers or Panels—due October 12, 2007
Abstracts, papers, or panels concerning religious communication must be submitted ELECTRONICALLY to
Ruth Anna Abigail ( by October 12, 2007 for consideration. Depending on the number of
papers or panels submitted, concurrent sessions may be scheduled.

12:00 – 1:00      Registration
1:00 – 3:00       First Session
3:00 – 3:15       Break (registration fee includes coffee and snacks)
3:30 – 5:30       Second Session
6:00 – 8:00       Dinner and Guest Speaker Julie Stratton

JULIANA WIGGINS STRATTON is principal owner of JDS Mediation Services, Inc. She has trained mediators (32-hour
mediation skills course) and led a variety of other workshops on the topic of conflict resolution both locally and nationally. Juliana
was trained by the Institute for Christian Conciliation in biblical peacemaking and has assisted Christian marriages and families
with improving communication and working towards resolution of interpersonal conflicts since 1999. In addition, she has served
as staff Conciliator for the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, mediating marital and intra-congregational disputes for the
congregation. Juliana has served on numerous government-based and private alternative dispute resolution panels including for
the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Postal Service, United Airlines, the Illinois Department of
Children and Family Services, the Center for Conflict Resolution, Cook County Mandatory Arbitration, and the Illinois
Department of Human Rights. Juliana currently serves as a Deputy Hearing Commissioner for the City of Chicago Department of
Business Affairs and as an Administrative Law Officer for the City of Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings. She has
been a volunteer with the Center for Conflict Resolution for 15 years, is a member of the Illinois Judicial Council, and is active
with the Chicago Chapter of Jack & Jill of America. Juliana earned her Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law.
Questions and abstracts should be addressed to:
Ruth Anna Abigail, Ph.D.
Center for Adult and Professional Studies
Azusa Pacific University
901 E. Alosta Avenue
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
(626) 815-5030

Pre-Conference Registration Form
Return to:       Ruth Anna Abigail, Pre-Con Coordinator
                 Center for Adult and Professional Studies
                 Azusa Pacific University
                 901 E. Alosta Avenue
                 Azusa, CA 91702-7000


Name on Badge


Street Address

City, State, Zip

□ I will be attending the pre-conference and dinner ($50)
□ I will be attending the RCA banquet only ($25)

Please make check payable to Religious Communication Association

Conference registration and dinner fees MUST be paid by October 31, 2007
               The 2007 RCA Convention Program At-A-Glance
                       From the First Vice President
Convention Update
The 2007 RCA program is ready to go for Chicago. I believe we have been blessed this year with the ability
to offer everyone a very strong selection of offerings from a very diverse pool. The selection process was
again very competitive this year. Thanks to Ruth Anna Abigail and the pre-conference for providing
additional opportunity for the presentation of worthy scholarship!

While our 14 panels represents a drop in the number of slots from previous years, what we lack in quantity
we more than make up for in quality. Our panels represent a very broad array of fascinating timely topics and

Business Meeting
Our business meeting will be held Thursday, November 15th, 3:30-4:45, Palmer House, Crystal Room! The
presentation of the annual RCA awards will take place at this meeting!

Spotlight Panel
In the spirit of the 2007 NCA Convention theme, ―Communicating Worldviews: Faith—Intellect—Ethics,‖
the NCA First Vice President and the Religious Communication Association will be sponsoring a spotlight
paper presentation by Dr. Martin Marty. Dr. Marty, the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor
Emeritus at the University of Chicago Divinity School, will address ―Sightings of Religion in Public
Communication‖ on Saturday, November 17 at the Chicago Hilton/Boulevard C from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15

An ordained Lutheran pastor since 1952, Dr. Marty is dedicated to serving the Church, the academy and the
public. He has taught at the University of Chicago Divinity School for 35 years. Author of more than 50
books, including Righteous Empire, for which he won the National Book Award, and over 5,000 essays,
Marty’s scholarship has promoted issues of ―public religion‖ in scholarship. He also has served as the
president or director of several associations and institutions, including the American Academy of Religion,
the American Society of Church History, and the American Catholic Historical Association. He has been the
recipient of numerous honors, such as the National Humanities Medal, the Medal of the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences and the Distinguished Service Medal of the Association of Theological Schools. Marty
is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society and of the Society of American Historians, an
elected fellow of the American Philosophical Society, and is the Mohandas M. K. Gandhi Fellow of the
American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. Marty has received 75 honorary doctorates.

Dr. Marty will address current communication dynamics regarding rhetoric, civility, and ethics in the public
square. Dr. Marty’s extensive contributions to scholarship and continuing service as a public intellectual on
questions of religion and public life position him uniquely to speak to these issues in ways that will appeal to
a broad spectrum of the NCA membership and challenge us with well grounded, provocative perspectives. In
this regard, Dr. Marty’s enduring commitment to consider questions at the center of this year’s convention
theme suggest that he is well suited help us pursue faithfully the difficult personal and public demands
placed on a nation publicly committed to religious freedom.
Thank You
Putting together the RCA program is never the work of a single person and I would be extremely remiss if I
did not acknowledge and give a loud THANK YOU to our division chairs! Thanks to each of you for your

Thank you for this opportunity to serve you. I trust you will be blessed by this year’s convention and find the
scholarship diverse, stimulating, and thought provoking! See you in Chicago!!

For your convenience, a program reminder is included in the newsletter to help you in your convention

Calvin Troup, 1st Vice President
Duquesne University

 Nominations for Executive Council Offices                               (election at business meeting)

For 2nd Vice President (2 nominees; vote for one). The 2nd Vice President serves as a member of the
Executive Council and is particularly concerned with membership and recruitment. After one year they
succeed the 1st Vice President who oversees convention planning for RCA. In the following year, that
person succeeds the President of RCA. Both of these positions entail a three-year commitment; a full
description of their duties is in the Constitution and Bylaws on our web site at

Vice President
Barbara Spies is Assistant Professor in Communication Arts at Cardinal Stritch University, a Franciscan
Roman Catholic university, where she has taught for the last 5 years. She earned a Ph.D. in Speech
Communication from The Pennsylvania State University in 1994, with a dissertation focusing on the rhetoric
of Antoinette Brown Blackwell. Blackwell was the first woman to be ordained as a minister in the United
States, in 1853, and spoke for woman’s rights, abolition, and the purity movement.

Teaching areas include Public Speaking, Interviewing, Communication Research, Family Communication,
Media, Argumentation & Debate, and Senior Seminar. Her research focuses on rhetoric and public address,
especially in relation to speeches falling into the genre of the jeremiad. She also has conducted studies in the
area of Academic Service Learning and the Communication Classroom. She requires students in my Public
Speaking courses to participate in Academic Service Learning.

Robert Woods is Associate Professor of Communication at Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor,
Michigan, where he teaches media ethics and research at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has a
B.A. in communication from the University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. in communication from Regent
University, Virginia. He also holds a J.D. (Juris Doctor) from Regent University and is licensed to practice
law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
RCA Councilor (two nominees; vote for one)
G.L. Forward, Professor of Organizational Communication, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego,
CA. RCA and NCA have remained my primary intellectual homes. I served 2 terms as the Chair of what was
then called the Interpersonal/Organizational Division (now Communication Studies) of RCA. During that
time I was most pleased at encouraging the involvement of my PLNU departmental colleagues and even
undergraduate communication students in RCA activities. RCA has also been an outlet for much of my own
work in conferences papers and publishing. I am currently a member of the JCR editorial board and recently
published a fourth empirical article in our journal.

RCA needs to continue to provide quality convention programs, an intellectually rigorous, diverse, and
accessible journal, as we are doing, and to represent the constituency of those already here and many others
who will – by accident or Providence - continue to ―discover‖ all that RCA has to offer. If elected as
Councilor, it would be my privilege to assist all those leading our organization into an exciting and fulfilling

Ray McCormick. For the last 22 years, I have taught in the Communication Studies Department of Azusa
Pacific University. During this time, I have been called upon to teach a variety of classes ranging from
introductory courses in communication studies, mass media, and argumentation to major classes in rhetorical
theory, criticism, communication theory and a senior seminar dealing with ethics and communication. In
terms of educational background, I received my M.A. in Speech Communication from California State
University at Long Beach, a Masters of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson,
Mississippi, and a PhD from the University of Southern California.

I have been a member of RCA for the past 18 years and a life member for the last 15 years. RCA has been a
blessing to me in that it has provided opportunities for me to meet and learn from my colleagues in Christian
colleges and University across the country. The time of fellowship and opportunities of scholarship that
comes each fall with the annual meeting contributes greatly to my standing as a scholar and my effectiveness
as a teacher. While I have not had the opportunity to serve RCA in an official capacity, I welcome this
nomination. I would be delighted to represent this organization and its membership. Thank you.

Pre-Conference Planner
Biff Rocha. I currently teach at Benedictine College, a small private liberal arts school located in Atchison,
Kansas. I am still in the process of finishing my dissertation and Theology Ph.D. at the University of Dayton
I’ve been involved in the RCA for three years and ask to be considered for the position of Pre-Conference
Planner, which as I understand it, would help to organize our one day gathering prior to the annual NCA
meeting. I would look to our membership to determine an appropriate pre-conference theme, and then I
would send out the call for papers and work with the first Vice President in finding a conference venue
satisfactory to our needs. To give you a little background on myself, I have a variety of scholarly interests
but most revolve around the general area of religious communication. My first MA degree in Speech
Communication and Rhetoric is from Miami University located in Oxford, Ohio. My thesis involved the
formation of a Christian Rhetorical Theory. My second MA came from the University of Dayton's Religious
Studies Department where I did a rhetorical analysis of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification
signed by the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church. My dissertation studies the
origins of the famous Baltimore Catechism written during the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884
and used as a Catholic religion textbook ever since. As you can see I like to work with texts, so overseeing
the RCA's call for papers should be right up my alley! Thank you for your consideration.
RCA Executive Council
President: Kevin Jones, Chapman University,
First Vice President: Calvin Troup,, Duquesne University,
Second Vice President: Janie Harden Fritz, Duquesne University,
Past President: Paul Soukup, Santa Clara University,
        Darlene Graves, Liberty University,
        Thomas Carmody, Vanguard University,
        Matthew Althouse , SUNY, Brockport,
Executive Secretary: Ken Danielson, Boiling Spring, PA,
JCR Editor: John Pauley, Eastern University,
Homiletic Editors: John Holbert, Alyce McKenzie, Perkins School of Theology,
Electronic Communication Coordinator: Michael E. Eidenmuller, University of Texas, Tyler,
RCA Newsletter Editor: Paul Lakey, Abilene Christian University,

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                                   RCA 2007 MEMBERSHIP

Fill out this form for memberships (new and renewals) and mail to:

Ken Danielson
11 Dandelion Drive
Boiling Spring, PA 17007
(610) 683-4889

Make checks payable to RCA. Thanks! [Overseas memberships: Add $10 in US currency to
amount listed.] Your canceled check will serve as your receipt.

                                 RCA 2007 MEMBERSHIP FORM

Complete the following (please print):
          Renewed Membership
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Last Name : ________________________________ First Name:_________________________
Title: _________________________________________________________________________
Institutional Affiliation: ___________________________________________________________
Mailing Address: _______________________________________________________________
Business Address: ______________________________________________________________
Email Address: _________________________________________________________________
Office Phone: __________________________ Home Phone: ____________________________
Type of Membership:
          Regular ($25)
          Sustaining ($45)
          Institutional ($50)
          Emeritus
          Student ($12.50)
          Life ($250 once – a great deal!)
                        RCA CONVENTION SCHEDULE

                    THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2007
THURSDAY                                                               9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Selling the Sacred: Multi Media Methods of Marketing Religion
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 17

The purpose of this panel is to examine convergences of religion and popular culture within
multi-media texts. Our current moment enables hitherto fore unprecedented modes of
interpersonal and institutional communication, accelerating information distribution and changing
traditional experiences of time and space. These changes present new opportunities for
―witnessing,‖ but also complicate the already hazy boundaries between secular and sacred,
capitalism and conversion.

THURSDAY                                                               12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Integrating Faith and Reason: The Challenges of Teaching Communication and the Arts
at Religiously Affiliated Colleges
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 17

Many students at religiously-affiliated colleges retain firm convictions from training at
home or church that present challenges to the study of communication. Few are equipped
to face the worldview test of pluralism and most maintain sharp sacred/secular
distinctions. These challenges become especially apparent when teaching ethics, theater,
rhetoric, and mass media. An integrated instructional model allows faculty to side-step
the tendency to uphold time-honored indoctrinational models in favor of more discursive,
interactive, and results-oriented approaches

THURSDAY                                                                2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

C.S. Lewis, The 20th Century’s Great Communicator of the Christian World View
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 18

This panel explores C. S. Lewis as one of the Twentieth Century’s great communicators
of the Christian world view. Papers describe his use of narrative form to critique
scientism, his applications of communication theory embedded in his works, his talents as
a biblical commentator for a popular audience, and his use of ancient sophistic and
rhetorical theory to describe worlds of reason and faith.

THURSDAY                                                               3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Religious Communication Association Business Meeting
LOCATION: Palmer House/ Crystal Room
                      FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2007
FRIDAY                                                                 8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Communicative Action: Christian Ethics, Practice, and Activism
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 8

Paper Session.

FRIDAY                                                                9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Communicating Worldviews: Integrating Faith at a Public Institution
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 16

At religious affiliated universities, the integration of faith is accepted, and often expected.
However, public institutions are often concerned about the incorporation of faith issues in
the classroom experience. This panel examines the problems, obstacles and joys of
integrating faith at public supported institutions.

FRIDAY                                                               12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Communicating Faith-Grounded Worldviews through Approaches to Communication
Theory: Incarnation, Action, and Discourse
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 16

This panel addresses approaches to communication theory and practice from a variety of
faith-grounded worldviews: a Levinasian understanding of care, a Trinitarian approach to
communication theory, an incarnational understanding of interpersonal communication, a
Lewisian treatment of domestic courtesy, an understanding of Divine discourse as
persuasive, and communication principles drawn from monastic practices.

FRIDAY                                                                 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Cyber-Religion: Issues in Mediated Religious Communities
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 16

Paper Session.

FRIDAY                                                                 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

What Would Jesus Say?: The Religious Right in the Public Square
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 16

Paper Session.
                   SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2007
SATURDAY                                                               8:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Faith & Communication Theory in Conversation: Theoretical and Methodological
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 8

Paper Session.

SATURDAY                                                             9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Communicative Implications of Religious, Cultural, and Gendered Identities:
Fragmentation in Search of Reconciliation
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 16

Paper Session.

SATURDAY                                                            11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

“Sightings” of Religion in Public Communication
LOCATION: Chicago Hilton/ Boulevard C

NCA First Vice President Special Program:
Dr. Martin Marty will address current communication dynamics regarding rhetoric,
civility, and ethics in the public square. Dr. Marty’s extensive contributions to
scholarship and continuing service as a public intellectual on questions of religion and
public life position him uniquely to speak to these issues in ways that will appeal to a
broad spectrum of the NCA membership and challenge us with well grounded,
provocative perspectives.

SATURDAY                                                             12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Christian Teens and Young Adults in a Digital World: Newer Media Influences on their
Religious Beliefs and Practices
LOCATION: Palmer House/ Salon 7

Some scholars have claimed that religious beliefs and practices are being or will be
significantly changed in our increasingly mediated culture and through the use of many
newer media and their various features. The purpose of this panel will be to present the
results of four studies which explore in various ways how and why Christian teens and
young adults are using specific newer communication technologies or have immersed
themselves in particular popular media environments and how this may be influencing
their religious beliefs, practices and lifestyles. Each study is among the first of its kind
with this particular focus,
SATURDAY                                                             2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

God-Talk in the White House: Rhetorical Accounts of Presidential Discourse
LOCATION: Palmer House/ Salon 5

Paper Session.

SATURDAY                                                             3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Mediated vs. Traditional Ministry: Methods of the Evangelical Ministry of Tony
Campolo, C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer and Billy Sunday
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 8

The purpose of this panel is to demonstrate the affects of mediated communication and
the emergence of communication methods throughout history which have affected the
message construction and delivery for evangelical misters including Tony Campolo,
Francis Schaeffer, C.S. Lewis and Billy Sunday. The strength of traditional
communication channels including oral (Sunday) and print (Lewis, Campolo, and
Schaeffer) communication will be compared to mediated channels including radio
(Sunday & Lewis), music (Schaeffer), and television (Campolo) during the panel

                     SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2007
SUNDAY                                                                8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Varieties of Christian Experience in Popular Culture
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 8
This is a panel about the ways that popular culture mediates ―Christian‖ experience, with
special focus on the issue of family values. By focusing on the production of religiously
marked figures such as Ted Haggard and Mitt Romney, and on mass mediated texts such
as The Di Vinci Code and the Left Behind Series, we hope to isolate some of the forms,
ideological investments, and affective ties that cumulatively produce the varieties of
―Christian‖ experience in popular culture.

SUNDAY                                                              9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Religious Traditions as Sources of Rhetorical Invention
LOCATION: Palmer House/ PDR 8
This panel explores and extends the work of seven rhetoric scholars whose reflections on
religious traditions as sources of rhetorical invention first appeared in a special issue of
Rhetoric & Public Affairs (winter, 2004) edited by Martin Medhurst. In this roundtable
setting, participants will address more fully how their religious rhetorical tradition
(manifested through distinctive topoi, reasoning patterns, narratives, rituals, etc.) has
contributed to how they think about rhetorical invention.